Bio Input Onto Material Systems

Maria-Paz Gutierrez, Associate Professor of Architecture


Slawomir Hermanowicz, Luke Lee

Project Description

Gutierrez founded the BIOMSgroup (Bio Input Onto Material Systems) at UC Berkeley in 2008. Her collaboration with Slawomir Hermanowicz (civil and environmental engineering) and Luke Lee (bio-engineering) of UC Berkeley is funded by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Science in Energy and Environmental Design (SEED) program. 

The BIOMS group works on development of a new building technology for water recycling and thermal control based on micro-engineering principles for architecture. In addition, BIOMSgroup is developing two other projects.

  1. The Self-Activated Building Envelope Regulation System (SABERS) establishes a new self-regulated membrane for hydrothermal and light transmission control that is designed for deployable emergency housing in tropical regions.
  2. The Detox Towers project explores a new phytoremediation building system for indoor air detoxification and humidity control through active use of algae and lichen.

Gutierrez, Hermanowicz, and Lee have also conceptualized an integrated building wall that links greywater regeneration to thermal control. Solar Optics-Based Active Panels for Greywater Reuse and Integrated Thermal Building Control (SOAP for GRIT) could contribute significantly to water conservation through the use of sunlight concentration and transmission control using micro-optics.